Archive for December, 2014


The directors of the most popular and celebrated animation films of this year very seldom get to talk about the scene they really like in interviews. They will talk about the passion they have for the project, give credit to the hard work of their animation and creative teams, but that one scene, that labor of love, it remains a hidden delight. The Hollywood Reporter asked the directors of animated feature Oscar contenders Big Hero 6, The Boxtrolls, The Book of Life, How to Train Your Dragon 2, The Lego Movie and Song of the Sea to share their favorite scenes from their movies. As can be expected, all of the responses are delightful reflections of their movie making soul.

Big Hero Six “First Flight”

A scene dubbed “First Flight” goes “deep into the wish fulfillment of why I wanted to make this movie in the first place,” said director Don Hall. “It’s a critical scene for Hiro and Baymax’s relationship. They are starting to really bond emotionally. Hiro, for a moment, isn’t thinking about the loss of his brother, he’s on a thrilling ride thanks to Baymax — but the scene is layered with meaning. There is a scene early in the movie where you see Hiro on the back of his brother’s scooter, seeing himself and his brother in a reflection as the bike flies over a hurdle in the street. In “First Flight,” you see Hiro seeing himself in a skyscraper reflection flying on Baymax’s back. The scooter’s color is the same red as Baymax’s suit in the flying sequence. That brief second with Hiro and Baymax is pure exhilaration. Added director Chris Williams: “The scene resolves once the kinetic thrill ride is finished and Hiro and Baymax are sitting on top of a wind turbine. It’s a quiet, sweet, intimate scene. that’s the moment where the audience really invests in them as a duo on an emotional level. You realize how much they love each other.”

The Box Trolls “What a Family/Father Is”

“My favorite moment in the film is when Eggs and Winnie are sitting on the edge of the Boxtroll Cavern, and Winnie is trying to explain what a father is,” said Anthony Stacchi, who directed with Graham Annable. “When I began this project my son had just been born. Like a lot of fathers, especially fathers who work the long hours that come with animation, I was an absentee father. Quite a few of the characters in the film have father issues — Eggs’ father is missing and Winnie’s father is one of the most emotionally absent fathers imaginable. Despite all these characters having father issues, we still had to fight for this scene to stay in the film — the film was too long, the moment slowed the action down when it should be starting to build, etc. Luckily for me the tone of Alan Snow’s book Here Be Monsters was full of lost boys and missing fathers so we were never in doubt the moment belonged. Also my co-director Graham Annable was a new father and our producer Travis Knight was a father.”

The Book of Life “The Apology Song” (Only Decent Copy I can Find)

“My favorite scene is when Manolo courageously sings and tenderly apologizes to the giant skeleton bull on fire,” said director Jorge R. Gutierrez of his CG story inspired by Mexican holiday the Day of the Dead. “Not only is he apologizing to all bulls for everything mankind has done to them, but he’s apologizing to his own father for not being like him. He loves his family, but he’s finally admitting he’s just not like them. The most honest and rebellious act for Manolo is to not kill. And he had to die to learn.”

How To Train Your Dragon 2 “Viking Funeral”

“One of my favorite scenes has to be the Viking Funeral in which Stoick the Vast, Hiccup’s father and chief of the clan, is laid to rest on a ship at sea, following a great battle on the shores of the Arctic dragon sanctuary,” said writer-director Dean DeBlois. “It’s a subtle scene that takes its time, which is rarely seen in the often frenetic pace of animated feature films. The whole look of the scene has a misty, atmospheric feel and a poetic simplicity. It features some of the film’s finest voice work from Jay Baruchel, Cate Blanchett and Craig Ferguson, accompanied by some of the most subtle and refined animation in the film … and showcases some of the best human animation our studio has ever done. Pierre Olivier Vincent’s production design is at once ethereal and somber, with glittering firelight played against icebergs drifting listlessly in the lagoon. The graceful cinematography by Gil Zimmerman and the gorgeous lighting provided by Dave Walvord’s talented team, working closely with famed cinematographer Roger Deakins, create a mood of honest grief that gives way to Hiccup’s inspiring revelation that he must take up the mantle of chief from his fallen father.

The Lego Movie “Emmet touches the Piece of Resistance for the first time”

“A favorite scene is when Emmet touches the Piece of Resistance for the first time,” shared directors Phil Lord and Christopher Miller. “For a few seconds when he has a ‘vision,’ the film becomes a psychedelic freak-out movie. Melting faces. Weird cats. A few live-action bits. Together with our animation co-director Chris McKay, we approached the scene by holding a contest and inviting anyone on the crew to design what they thought the sequence might look like. Some shot stop-motion pieces on their phones, others manipulated finished footage from the movie, or animated shots (in CG). We liked so many of them we asked the editors to use our favorite pieces from several, and combine them with some live-action footage we shot. Then when we went into final color, production designer Grant Freckelton added all kinds of digital tricks to make it even more surreal. We just love that the scene had so many of our crewmembers’ hands on it.”

Song of the Sea “Holy Well”

“I’m really proud of the ‘Holy well’ sequence; it’s a quieter moment inspired by the bus shelter scene in Hayao Miyazaki’s My Neighbor Totoro,” said director Tomm Moore of his hand-drawn animated film. “It’s a character-based moment where older brother Ben reconciles with his sister, and a poignant part of the story, filled with childhood memories I have of encountering those strange public, yet private, places of prayer that were overtly Catholic yet built atop ancient pagan sacred wells.”

The Art of The Boxtrolls

The Art of the Book of Life


index The Art of How to Train Your Dragon 2

LEGO: The LEGO Movie: The Official Movie Handbook


The Art of Big Hero 6


Is this one of the famous lost "Scream"s?
Is this one of the famous lost “Scream”s?
His official artistic statement says everything you need to know. (I do encourage you to Google all the great artists involved in these spoofs to see more of their work and learn about their extraordinary lives.) (Comments attributed to the paintings are solely products of my imagination and have no bearing on anything real or imagined in the Star Wars universe.)

What if art had been painted a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away? Well, I gave that question some thought, and here’s my answer – famous paintings re-imagined for the time of the Galactic Empire.
I’ve never been the biggest art lover, but I have been a big Star Wars lover since the summer of ’77. This project started out life as just a bit of a giggle, however, it soon turned into something of an education for me. It didn’t take too long before I got hooked on finding out more about the paintings I was desecrating and the artists who painted them. I learned a lot and can now tell a Warhol from a whole in the ground.
A short apology to all those mortally offended by my digital doodling. To the art appreciation crowd, I’m sorry. But then again, I found out even some of these old-masters used other people’s work as a basis for theirs. Yes they did. And to you Jedi out there, just consider these “Special Editions”. I know how much you value those.

The Scream in over six million forms of communication

Edvard Munch
Edvard Munch

Drama Queen CP30 gets the parody he deserves when he discovers that the whole universe bends to his neurosis.

The Anatomy Lesson by Dr. 2-1B


Dr 2-1B substituting for the original Dr. Tulp does his one per year approved anatomy lesson under the eyes of the Empire’s surgical board.

Girl with an E11 Blaster

Johannes Vermeer
Johannes Vermeer

The camera gets a little obscura in this official Royal painting of what is probably Leia’s sister. She’ll no doubt be played by Scarlett Johansson in a future sequel.

Starry Fighter Night over the Rhone

Vincent van Gogh
Vincent van Gogh

A Star Fighter searches the awesome vastness of sky and water looking for Luke’s missing hand but only turning up Van Gogh’s ear.

Christina’s Moisture Farm

Andrew Wyeth
Andrew Wyeth

Christina a victim of both an Empire Raid and “Space Polio” is left to drag herself helplessly along as her grandfather’s Andrew Wyeth moisture farm smolders in the distance.

Tolstoy Ploughing (under the heal of the Galactic Empire)

Ilya Repin
Ilya Repin

Leo Tolstoy the 22nd struggles under the Evil Empires galactic yolk. He would later become famous for writing the official Rebel treatise “Star Wars and Peace“.

Mos Eisley Nighthawks

Edward Hopper
Edward Hopper

The two droids are left out of the slow wallow going on in Mos Eisley’s cantina because “We don’t serve their kind here.”

La princesse à l’ombrelle

Claude Monet
Claude Monet

Leia causes everything to go out of focus when she refuses to stay still for the Royal portrait.

Grand Moff Tarkin

Sir Henry Raeburn
Sir Henry Raeburn

Apparently this is not the galactic portrait or the future of the Empire that Moff Tarkin thought it would be.

Young Woman Reclining in Tatooine Costume

Edouard Manet
Edouard Manet

Leia’s own private photos hacked from her iPhone and displayed for all the Empire and other far far away places to see.

The Singing Jedi

Jack Vettriano
Jack Vettriano

A still from the new Rebel musical based on Singin’ in the Rain.

La classe de danse avec Oola

Edgar Degas
Edgar Degas

Every one turns their noses down when Oola tries out for the Imperial Ballet.

A Pyramid of Skulls

Paul Cezane
Paul Cezane

C-3P0 loses his head for the final time.

Head of a Jedi

Pierre-Aguste Renoir
Pierre-Aguste Renoir

An Empire spoof of Yoda taken from the famous “Head of a Dog” painting.

Solo I & II

Andy Warhol
Andy Warhol

Andy Warhol the 13th does his father 2X proud with the official Han Solo portrait.

Jedi’s Hand with a Reflecting Sphere

MC Escher
MC Escher

Obi Wan gets caught in the exact moment when he sees his future destiny lies in the hands of the Rebel alliance.

Winter Landscape with a Probe Droid

Caspar David Friedrich
Caspar David Friedrich

A droid misses all signs of the Rebel re-awakening.


Jasper Johns
Jasper Johns

The official Rebel Alliance victory flag proudly unfolds its stars and stripes.

Obi Wan m’aider, vous êtes mon seul espoir

Georges Seurat
Georges Seurat

The Royal galaxy enjoys a Sunday afternoon in the galactic park near them.

Luke with the head of Anakin


Too bad this official Luke Skywalker painting leaks the biggest spoiler of the whole saga.


Star Wars Storyboards: The Original Trilogy

Princesses waiting for Princes that will never come

Call what photographer Harry McNally does Disney Verite.  He takes the grim streets of New York City and paints in  some Disney magic. 

In some cases, as with photos of stood up Princesses waiting for Princes that will never come, they achieve a sadness that is the more painful because they become the universal mirror for all girlhood/womanhood broken dreams.   Those that transcend their black and white reality are the ones where characters determinedly do their jobs: Mickey moping, Donald Duck being his quarrelsome self, Cogsworth the clock being a martinet with a randy couple, Robin Hood frowning over a sleeping human co-worker and even Snow White whistling while she works standing in line at the pharmacy to pick up her latest Prozac refill.  

So which is the better delusion?  Those who live in street reality who never see the magic of everyday imagination?  Or the colorful dreamers who maybe can’t talk the talk because they never really been knocked down?   McNally never comes down hard on one side or the other.   He is content to keep the perfect moment bittersweet.   It is more than enough for him to keep it what he calls it–“Moments Like These” . 

What are you looking at?

Off to the ball

Special delivery

Can I get some help, please?


Moping Mickey

Can we get a bottle over here?

Crosswalk crows

Sneaking around

Get a room

I’ve been waiting for you.

Another outfit ruined.

All ready to go out!

Which way from here?

The Art of the Disney Princess (Disney Editions Deluxe)


Peter Capaldi is the 12th actor to regenerate in the incantation of Dr. Who. The BBC series has been running continuously (except for a 8 year break between 1997-2004) since 1963. The initial 12 episodes of the Capaldi Who have just finished their British run. Having survived Daleks, dinosaurs, assorted ghosts of the pasts, a visit to Sherwood Forest and an alliance with Robin Hood, the fearsome Teller of the cosmos’ most deadliest bank, the Skovox Blitzer, a moon disaster, a mummy, being captured in a shrinking TARDIS, a tree invasion and more Cybermen, the good Dr is guaranteed a long series run.The BBC has commissioned Big Chief Studios to do 12 posters, one for each Season 8 episode (Deep Breath, Into the Dalek, Robot of Sherwood, Listen, Time Heist, The Caretaker, Kill the Moon, Mummy on the Orient Express, Flatline, In the Forest of the Night, Dark Water, and Death in Heaven), to celebrate the successful launch of the Peter Capaldi Who. British digital artist Stuart Manning has created each poster with a retro look that recalls other classic movie posters.

Each W11″ x H14″ art print is printed on high grade satin art stock with UV light stable inks and is suitable for framing. The set comes packed in a bespoke envelope with string and washer closure, a cover letter and numbered certificate of authenticity. Also included are two 8″ X 10″ lobby card stills. The set is limited to a 2000 print worldwide run.

Go here to order.

The Caretaker

Dark Water

Death in Heaven

Deep Breath


In the Forest of the Night

Into the Dalek

Kill the Moon


Mummy on the Orient Express

Robot of Sherwood

Time Heist

Doctor Who: Who-ology (Dr Who)

Ridley Scott and Sigourney Weaver on set of Alien

I still remember the space where Alien made me scream. In the vacuum of of all the other loud gasps I am sure no one heard it. Three years later, in that very same space, I would cry for the first time at a movie when a friendlier E.T. died.

Film buffs cherish those moments when movies jolt them from darkness to light, when the visceral becomes emotional, and an image is so seared into consciousness and soul that it informs not only every movie seen after that but almost every life moment also.

That is what Alien was. A chest-burster. It exploded you from within, left you gutted, watching the better part die and the evil created scampering out just as the door closes. Life was a Nostromo, a labyrinth where if you did get through, it was just barely and sleep was the only reward. You had to forget the horror in the dream. It took three years until Spielberg’s dream provided a counterbalance, before it became comfortable for you, and us, and the world to imagine the good space and not just monstrous nothingness seeking to destroy us.

H.R. Giger created the concept art for the creature, but it took director Ridley Scott to fully transform this Alien flesh into the symbol for evil. Thirty-five years latter it still spawns the artistic imagination.

The Poster Posse strives to do the film justice with over 35 alternate art poster prints dedicated to all things Ripley, Ridley, icky, and in between. Between the sweet exploration of deadly space is enough trivia about the making of Alien to fill the vacuum between the next frightful illumination.

Alien Trivia


1. The chest bursting scene was filmed in one take using four cameras.

2. Except for John Hurt, most of the cast did not fully know what would happen during the chest bursting scene. They only knew the vaguest of details. For instance, Veronica Cartwright did not know she would be sprayed with blood.

3. H.R. Giger’s initial designs for the facehugger were held by US Customs who were alarmed at what they saw. Writer Dan O’Bannon had to go to LAX to explain to them that they were designs for a horror movie.

4. The actual production design of the facehugger used by sculptors to make the real prop was created by Dan O’Bannon himself, as O’Bannon had trained as a designer. (Giger wasn’t available in England at the time).

5. The embryonic movements of the facehugger, prior to bursting out of its egg, were created by Ridley Scott using both his rubber-gloved hands.

6. H.R. Giger’s design for the Chestburster was originally based very strongly on Francis Bacon’s “Three Studies for Figures at the Base of a Crucifixion,” depicting creatures that while quite phallic are also more birdlike, and were actually based on the Greek Furies. Giger’s doubts about his first design were confirmed when Ridley Scott fell down laughing at the sight of the prototype Chestburster, describing it as “like a plucked turkey,” and Roger Dicken ended up retooling it to resemble the now classic design.

7. The scene with the alien exploding from the stomach was a reference that came to co-writer Dan O’Bannon because he struggled with stomach problems.


8. The movie was originally to be directed by Walter Hill, but he pulled out and gave the job to Ridley Scott.
9. All of the names of the main characters were changed by Walter Hill and David Giler during the revision of the original script by Dan O’Bannon and Ronald Shusett.
10. The script by O’Bannon and Shusett also had a clause indicating that all of the characters are “unisex”, meaning they could be cast with male or female actors.
11. However, Shusett and O’Bannon never thought of casting Ripley as a female character.

Andrew Swainson
  • 20th Century Fox Studios almost did not allow the “space jockey”, or the giant alien pilot, to be in the film. This was because, at the time, props for movies weren’t so large and it would only be used for one scene.
  • However, conceptual artist ‘Ron Cobb (I)’ convinced them to leave the scene in the movie, as it would be the film’s “Cecil. B. DeMille shot”, showing the audience that this wasn’t some low-budget B-movie.
  • The large Space Jockey sculpture was designed and painted by H.R. Giger himself, who was disappointed he couldn’t put any finishing touches on it by the time filming came about for the scene.
  • The Space Jockey prop was burned and destroyed by a burning cigarette left on the model.
  • The space jockey prop was 26 feet tall.

Andy Fairhurst
  • According to myth, the name for the company, “Weyland Yutani”, was taken from the names of Ridley Scott’s former neighbors – he hated them, so he decided to “dedicate” the name of the “evil company” to them.
  • In reality the name was created by conceptual designer Ron Cobb (who created the Nostromo and the crew’s uniforms) to imply a corner on the spacecraft market by an English-Japanese corporation.
  • According to himself, he would have liked to use “Leyland-Toyota” but obviously could not so he changed one letter in Leyland and added the Japanese name of his (not Scott’s) neighbor.
  • Nostromo” is the title of a Joseph Conrad book. The shuttlecraft is called the “Narcissus“, from the title of another Joseph Conrad book.

Ben Mcleod
  • The Alien’s slime consisted of K-Y jelly.
  • The original working title was Star Beast.

Berkay Daglar
  • The first day that Sigourney Weaver shot a scene involving Jones the cat, Sigourney Weaver’s skin started reacting badly. Horrified, the young actress immediately thought that she might be allergic to cats, and that it would be easier for the production to recast her instead of trying to find 4 more identical cats.
  • As it transpired, Weaver was reacting to glycerin sprayed on her skin to make her look hot and sweaty.

Brian Taylor
  • To simulate the thrust of engines on the Nostromo, Ridley Scott had crew members shake and wobble the seats the actors were sitting in.
  • Three versions of the landing craft were built for the production: a 12″ version for long shots, a 48″ version for the landing sequence and a seven ton rig for showing the ship at rest on the planet’s surface.

Chris Garofalo
  • The inside of the alien eggs was composed of the most gelatinous nastiness the production crew could find: cow hearts and stomachs.
  • The facehugger’s tail was a sheep’s intestine.
  • The internal organs of the facehugger that Ash autopsies were made from fresh shellfish, four oysters and a sheep’s kidney.

Chris Garofalo
  • According to Ridley Scott, the mechanism that was used to make the alien egg open was so strong, that it could tear off a hand.
  • The screech of the newborn alien was voiced by animal impersonator Percy Edwards. He was personally requested by director Ridley Scott to do the sound effect and it was recorded in one take.

Chris Garofalo
  • In The Blue Planet (2001), David Attenborough said the Alien (1979) monster was modeled after the Phronima, a creature spotted by submersibles at great depths.
  • However there is little evidence to support this claim – the original Alien design was based on a previous painting by H.R. Giger, Necronom IV, which bears little resemblance to the Phronima.
  • Giger’s agent, Bijan Aalam, claims “He never inspired himself by any animals, terrestrial or marine”.

Daniel Nash
  • Aside from being an easy-to-remember moniker for the ship’s computer, another reason for the crew referring to it as “Mother” is the actual name of the computer: MU-TH-UR. This is printed in red lettering on the small access door that holds the computer card that Dallas and Ripley use to gain access to the control console room.
  • The original name for the spaceship was Snark. This was later changed to Leviathan before they finally settled for Nostromo.

Harlan Elam
  • The alien’s habit of laying eggs in the chest (which later burst out) was inspired by spider wasps, which are said to lay their eggs “in the abdomen of spiders.” This image gave Dan O’Bannon nightmares, which he used to create the story.

Harlan Elam
  • The producers of the 1950s potboiler It! The Terror from Beyond Space considered suing for plagiarism but didn’t.

John Aslarona
  • A lawsuit by A.E. van Vogt, claiming plagiarism of his 1939 story “Discord in Scarlet” (which he had also incorporated in the 1950 novel “Voyage of the Space Beagle“), was settled out of court.

Kaz oomori
  • Ridley Scott’s first exposure to early Alien (1979) drafts were sent to him by Sanford Lieberson, then head of 20th Century Fox’s London headquarters. Lieberson had seen Scott’s The Duellists (1977) and was adequately impressed to consider the neophyte filmmaker.

Laurie Greasley
  • The genesis of the film arose out of Dan O’Bannon’s dissatisfaction with his first feature, Dark Star (1974) which John Carpenter directed in 1974. Because of that film’s severe low budget, the alien was quite patently a beach ball.
  • For his second attempt, O’Bannon wanted to craft an altogether more convincing specimen. The goofiness of Dark Star (1974) also led him in the direction of an intense horror movie.
  • For the alien’s appearance in the shuttle, the set was built around Bolaji Badejo, giving him an effective hiding place. However, extricating himself from the hiding place proved more difficult than anticipated. The alien suit tore several times, and, in one instance, the whole tail came off.

Luke Butland
  • Many of the interior features of the Nostromo came from airplane graveyards.
  • Ridley Scott did all the hand-held camera-work himself.

Luke Butland
  • The grid-like flooring on the Nostromo was achieved using upturned milk crates, painted over.

Luke Butland
  • Jerry Goldsmith was most aggrieved by the changes that Ridley Scott and his editor Terry Rawlings wrought upon his score. Scott felt that Goldsmith’s first attempt at the score was far too lush and needed to be a bit more minimalist.
  • Even then, Goldsmith was horrified to discover that his amended score had been dropped in places by Rawlings who inserted segments from Goldsmith’s score to Freud (1962) instead.
  • (Rawlings had initially used these as a guide track only, and ended up preferring them to Goldsmith’s revised work.) Goldsmith harbored a grudge against the two right up to his death in 2004.

Marko Manev
  • In the original H.R. Giger concept art the Alien had eyes. Giger wanting to enhance the cold and unemotional nature of the creature for the movie insisted that the production team leave the eyes out.

Matt Needle
  • Carlo Rambaldi constructed three alien heads based on H.R. Giger’s designs: two mechanical models for use in various close-up work, and an elementary model for medium-to-long shots. Rambaldi was not available to operate his creations on the actual shoot, though he did spend two weeks in the UK as a technical advisor to Ridley Scott and his crew.

Matthew Griffin
  • The famous tag line of the poster “In Space No One Can Hear You Scream” was created by copywriter Barbara Gips.

Mathew Griffin
  • Alison Bechdel is a cartoonist who, in her comic Dykes to Watch Out For, proposed a simple test to see if a film treated its female characters as equal members of the cast. The rule has three parts: the must feature 1. At least two female characters, who 2. have a conversation with each other that 3. isn’t about one of the male characters. This criteria came to be known as the Bechdel test.
  • The character in the comic who outlines these criteria says the last movie she saw that fit these criteria was Alien.

Orlando Arocena
  • To preserve the shock-value of the alien’s appearance, no production images of it were released, not even to author Alan Dean Foster when he wrote the film’s novelization.

Orlando Arocena
  • According to Ridley Scott in the DVD commentary, he had envisioned a moment in the ending scenes of Ripley and the alien in the space shuttle in which the alien would be sexually aroused by Ripley.
  • Scott says that in the scene, after Ripley hides in the closet, the alien would find her and would be staring at her through the glass door. The alien would then start touching itself as if comparing its body to Ripley’s. The idea was eventually scrapped.

Patrick Seymour
  • Ridley Scott gives credit to three films for shaping his Alien vision: the original Star Wars, 2001: A Space Odyssey for their depictions of space and Tobe Hooper’s Texas Chainsaw Massacre for how it handles horror.
  • Dan O’Bannon requested that Ridley Scott and producer Walter Hill, both of whom had little knowledge of horror or science-fiction cinema, screen The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (1974) to prepare for shooting the more intense scenes. Scott and Hill were stunned by the horror film and admitted it motivated them to ratchet up the intensity of their own film.
  • Dan O’Bannon and Ronald Shusett wanted all the characters to be male to avoid what was already becoming a cliché in horror films: the female in danger being the only one left alive to face the killer at the climax, later referred to as the “final girl” phenomena.
  • Ironically, that’s exactly where the character of Ripley ended up although it must be noted she is much stronger and more resourceful than the typical horror film “final girl”.

Paul Ainsworth
  • During the opening sequence, as the camera wanders around the corridors of the Nostromo, we can clearly see a Krups coffee grinder mounted to a wall; this is the same model that became the “Mr. Fusion” in Back to the Future (1985).

Paul Ainsworth
  • Ridley Scott revealed that to make the action more realistic, the flight deck was wired so that flipping a switch in at one console would trigger lights somewhere else. The cast then developed “work routines” for themselves where one would trip a switch, leading another to respond to the changes at his work station and so on.

Peter Guiterrez
  • Ridley Scott avoided any notion of the Godzilla effect, noticing that the Alien was a man in a rubber suit, by mostly never shooting in long shots and taking close-ups at various angles to avoid showing the creatures human shaped skull.
  • The front part of the creature’s face was cast from an actual human skull.

Rich Davies
  • The only other person seriously considered for the Ripley part besides Sigourney Weaver was Weaver’s Yale acting classmate Meryl Streep.
  • The screen test that bagged Sigourney Weaver the role of Ripley was her speech from her final scene.

Robert Bruno
  • Shredded condoms were used to create the tendons of the Alien‘s jaw.
  • When Dan O’Bannon was stumped about why the crew couldn’t just kill the Alien with a gun, concept artist Ron Cobb came up with the novel idea that the Alien should bleed acid.

Rodolfo Reyes
  • Bolaji Badejo who plays the Alien in the movie was a graphic artist who was discovered at a pub by one of the casting directors.
  • He was about 7 feet tall with thin arms – just what they needed to fit into the Alien costume.
  • He was sent for Tai Chi and Mime classes to learn how to slow down his movements.
  • A special swing had to be constructed for him to sit down during filming as he could not sit down on a regular chair once he was suited up because of the Alien’s tail.
  • Three aliens were made: a model; a suit for seven-footer Bolaji Badejo; and another suit for a trained stunt man.
  • During this production, only H.R. Giger and Bolaji Badejo were permitted to view the rushes with Ridley Scott, enabling them to better discuss and refine aspects of the beast’s look and movements.
  • Yaphet Kotto (Parker) actually picked fights with Bolaji Badejo who played the Alien, in order to help his onscreen hatred of the creature.
  • Bolaji Badejo beat Peter Mayhew to the part of the alien.

Rodolfo Reyes
  • The literal translations of some of this film’s foreign language titles include Alien: The Eighth Passenger (Argentina, Mexico, Spain, Canada, Denmark and France) and Alien: The Uncanny Creature from a Strange World (West Germany).
  • The Hungarian translation of the title translated back is “The 8th passenger is the Death” and from that on, all 3 other Alien movies had such titles that end with the word “death”. Aliens (1986): “The name of the planet: Death“; Alien³ (1992): “Final solution: Death“; Alien: Resurrection (1997): “Reawakens the Death“.
  • Furthermore, the alien is referred to as “death” in the Hungarian title of AVP: Alien vs. Predator (2004): “The Death against The Predator”.

Salvador Anguiano
  • A scene originally cut, but re-inserted for the Director’s Cut shows Lambert slapping Ripley in retaliation for Ripley’s refusal to let her, Dallas, and Kane back on the ship.
  • According to both Ridley Scott and Veronica Cartwright, every time she went to slap Sigourney Weaver, Sigourney would shy away. After about three or four takes of this, Scott finally told Cartwright “Not to hold back. Really hit her.” Thus the very real shocked reactions of Weaver, Yaphet Kotto, and Harry Dean Stanton.

Salvador Anguiano
  • Potential directors, who either were considered by the studio or wanted to direct, included Robert Aldrich, Peter Yates, Jack Clayton, Dan O’Bannon and Walter Hill.
  • Aldrich in particular came very close to being hired, but the producers ultimately decided against it after they met him in person, and it quickly became apparent that he had no real enthusiasm for the project beyond the money he would have received.
  • According to David Giler, the moment when Aldrich talked himself out of the job came when they asked him what kind of a design he had in mind for the facehugger; Aldrich simply shrugged and said “We’ll put some entrails on the guy’s face. It’s not as if anyone’s going to remember that critter once they’ve left the theater.”

Sam Ho
  • Ridley Scott originally wanted to cast Harrison Ford for the role of Captain Dallas. Tom Skerrit got the part when Ford turned it down.
  • Ridley Scott’s original cut was lot bloodier, but because of the negative reactions of test audience and possibility that movie will get X rating, scenes with violence and gore were cut down.
  • Some outtakes that can be seen in making of documentaries show longer and bloodier versions of chestburster scene and Brett’s death scene.
  • For Parker’s death, a fiberglass cast of Yaphet Kotto’s head was made, and then filled with pigs’ brains. The forehead was made of wax so that the alien’s teeth could penetrate it easily. Indeed barbed hooks were fastened to the end of the teeth to make sure it broke the wax surface effectively.

Scott Hopko
  • Originally, no film companies wanted to make this film, 20th Century-Fox had even passed on it.
  • They stated various reasons, most being that it was too bloody.
  • The only producer who wanted to make the film was Roger Corman, and it was not until Walter Hill came on board that it all changed.
  • 20th Century-Fox agreed to make the film as long as the violence was toned down; even after that they still rejected the first cut for being “too bloody”.

Scott Hopko
  • The spacesuits worn by the Tom Skerritt, John Hurt and Veronica Cartwright were huge, and bulky. They had no air releases or place to disperse sweat and condensation.
  • Under the 100 degree studio light the actors would often pass out. A nurse was constantly on set to supply them with oxygen.
  • It wasn’t until Ridley Scott’s and cinematographer’s Derek VanLint’s children (who were used in the suits for long shots) started passing out that some costume modifications were made.

Simon Delart
  • Ridley Scott reportedly said that originally he wanted a much darker ending.
  • He planned on having the alien bite off Ripley’s head in the escape shuttle, sit in her chair, and then start speaking with her voice in a message to Earth. Apparently, 20th Century Fox wasn’t too pleased with such a dark ending.

Simon Delart
  • An early draft of the script had a male Ripley, making this one of at least three films where Sigourney Weaver played a character originally planned to be a man. The second is The TV Set (2006) and the third is Vantage Point (2008).

The Dark Inker
  • The Production’s animal trainers got Jones the Cat to react fearfully to the Alien by placing a German Shepherd in front of Jones and separating the two with a screen. When the screen was removed to make Jones suddenly stop and start to hiss.

Thomas Walker
  • According to Ian Holm, Ash’s head contained spaghetti, cheap caviar and onion rings.

Thomas Walker
  • Ash’s blood is colored water. Milk was not used as it would have gotten very smelly very quickly under the hot studio lights. Milk was used though for the close-up of his innards, along with pasta and glass marbles.

Tomasz Opasinski
  • Dan O’Bannon was hyper-critical of any changes made to his script and, to be fair, he defended some aspects of the film that ended up being most iconic (including H.R. Giger’s designs).
  • Although he would come on set and nitpick, O’Bannon was generally welcomed by Ridley Scott until O’Bannon lost his temper and insulted Scott in front of the whole crew.
  • The producers, including Walter Hill, had minimal respect for O’Bannon and largely ignored him, giving him little credit once the film became a success.

Trivia mostly comes from and

Alien: 35th Anniversary [Blu-ray]

Chucky recalls his first murderous dream.

The past of every monster from horror films hides the secret of its evil origins. Where do the darkest heroes come from ? What ancient magic resides in them ? The “Horror Genesis” collection explores these stories from a poetic point of view. More pictures are to come on

There is something about watercolors that brings out the hard soft madness of the first movie monsters dreams. There is a shock that comes when the viewer realizes that the monster no longer desires to dream of death but to become death itself. Jeremy Pailler’s watercolor nightmares have caught that moment perfectly. Jérémy Pailler is a french illustrator and animation filmmaker. His first animated short film, Gerdas Vej, has been screened in multiple film festivals in the world and won prizes from Venezuela and the United States. He proposes a singular mix between his practice of ink painting and his taste for animated narrative forms. He also works on a fine art PHD in a laboratory in Toulouse. He lives in Limoges where he works as an independent illustrator and graphic designer for the past two years. You can see more of Jeremy Paillers art at his behance page.

Cujo remembers the time before the rabies occurred

Freddy recalls the first nightmare

Demons recall their first victory over angels

Innocents remember the first broken dream

Jason recalls the drowning

Lubdan the Leprechaun recalls the first rainbow

Pinhead origins recalled

The blob remembers its space origins

Friday the 13th – Mask Movie Poster